SonderMind Reviews: Pros & Cons of Their Therapy Services

SonderMind is a virtual mental health service that makes therapy and psychiatry more accessible. Find out if the pros outweigh the cons.

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SonderMind Intro | Overview | Quality of Therapy | Cost | Privacy and Compliance | Customer Service | In Review

Virtual therapy has not only proven to be effective, but it’s also a continually growing method of care as technology advances. If you’ve ever thought about starting a virtual session, you may have come across SonderMind.

SonderMind is a virtual therapy provider that matches you with a local therapist after answering a short questionnaire. You’ll decide if they’re the right fit and then join a virtual, or in-person, session to get the help you need.

But in a world where online mental health clinics are common, does SonderMind stand out from the rest? Here’s everything you need to know about SonderMind so you can have a sounder mind when it comes to picking the right therapist.

Who Is SonderMind?

SonderMind is a virtual mental health service that matches you with a therapist or psychiatrist after answering just a couple of questions. You can decide if you want to meet with a therapist over the phone, via video call, or in person.

Then, when you’re paired with a match, you’ll see a self-written bio so you can decide if they’re right for you. If you decide to move forward, most SonderHelp providers accept major health insurance. However, SonderMind offers competitive self-pay rates in case you are uninsured, or if you’d just save some money on your co-pays.

SonderMind works with licensed therapists as a “middleman” between you and them. For that reason, they don’t actually have their own in-house therapists that are providing care. This means that you can have access to a wide range of local therapists for any given mental health condition.

SonderMind: An Overview

Sondermind is one of many virtual mental health clinics that you can find on your browser. Here are some of the advantages that set it above the pack.

Pros:

  • You can get the help you need with or without insurance.
  • The program matches you with a therapist quickly. Most people are able to find a match within 24 to 48 hours.
  • You have the option to meet in person, rather than just virtually if you choose.
  • They offer both therapy and psychiatric services.

With those in mind, SonderMind also has a fair share of drawbacks that might make it a bit less welcoming compared to competitors.

Cons:

  • Many customers report problems with billing.
  • Customer service is lackluster, and many people report a lack of compassion and understanding from SonderMind staff.
  • You can’t see detailed biographical information about your therapist until you put in your credit card information, which can make it difficult to find a perfect fit.
  • The questionnaire does not seem to properly match individuals with an applicable therapist.
  • The mobile app is glitchy and lacks important features.

There are lots of pros and cons, so let’s dive in and dissect each of these a little bit more closely so you can have a better understanding of whether or not SonderMind is the right choice for you.

Quality of Therapy

Keep in mind that SonderMind is a third-party billing company between you and a therapist. This means that they match you with a licensed therapist in their network, but they don’t actually have their own team of professionals that work specifically for them.

For that reason, it’s difficult to necessarily assess the quality of care as it can vary from person to person. However, our experience with our therapist was overall positive. They were very caring and understanding, and we felt that our virtual consultation was thorough.

We attended a consultation looking for treatment for anxiety, and our provider was compassionate and inquisitive. They also laid out a plan for how future sessions might look, and other tactics that we may be able to use to overcome some of our symptoms.

Furthermore, SonderMind’s data shows improvement in less than six sessions through their program. While it’s hard to say the quality of the therapy is indicative of the quality of SonderMind’s services, this is compelling data that may show that the company does a solid job of matching clients with a provider.

Quality of SonderMind Application

The issues with SonderMind don’t necessarily lie in the therapists themselves – it has more to do with the SonderMind application. For one, many people have noticed that the questionnaire and pairing software do an inadequate job of matching you with the right therapist.

This boils down to the fact that once you are matched with a provider, you only get a very brief, self-written bio of the therapist or psychiatrist. This really isn’t enough information to go off of, so it can make it tough to decide whether or not they are actually the right pick to help you overcome your specific challenges.

The website itself is organized nicely, and you can find all of the information you need rather quickly. You can access the service through the web browser on your phone or on your computer.

While there is a mobile app for iPhone, we found that the app was glitchy and lacked a lot of features that you can find on their website. One of our main gripes was that you can only use the app in portrait mode – even when attending sessions through video call.

With that said, having the option to visit a therapist in-person, virtually, or over the phone is a nice change from competitors that typically only offer one of the three. The freedom is nice, it’s just a shame when you might be paired with a provider who really is not in-tune with the specific needs that you might require.

Finally, SonderHelp has the advantage of offering psychiatric services in addition to cognitive behavioral therapy. This differs compared to a number of similar services in the online mental health sphere that typically only offer therapy.

Cost

An inherent benefit of SonderMind is that you have the option to use your insurance, or you can just pay out of pocket. Most providers accept major health insurance providers, including FSA, HSA, and Medicare.

However, you can also pay out of pocket for care if you don’t have insurance on hand. Without insurance, most therapists charge around $75 to $150 per session.

Again, since SonderMind just connects you with local and applicable providers, they set their own rates and hours. For that reason, the cost of sessions will vary depending on who you see.

Something that you should keep in mind when using SonderMind is that you need to put in your credit card information before you even get a full biography of your therapist. This is a little bit risky, and it can also put you between a rock and a hard place if you pay upfront for services before finding out that your insurance may have saved you money elsewhere.

In most cases, individuals seem to pay less via their insurance as opposed to SonderMind’s “competitive” rates. However, we can’t really fault them for broadening accessibility for those without insurance to get the mental health care that they might require.

Privacy and HIPAA Compliance

When it comes to mental healthcare, especially with sessions conducted online, your privacy as a patient should be a top priority.

The good news is that SonderMind uses an encrypted software that meets all criteria for HIPAA compliance. Video calls and telephone sessions are never recorded, though you can request access to your medical and health records through their website.

If you feel like your security or privacy has been breached because of a therapist that you were matched with, you can file a complaint by contacting the SonderMind support team. While we haven’t had a need to test how thoroughly their incident reporting team truly investigates these claims, some people have noted that problems with therapists were not addressed properly after contacting the customer support team.

Customer Service

While we had an overall pleasant customer service experience when we called SonderMind’s number to ask a few questions, we should note that many customers have not experienced the same.

According to the Better Business Bureau, SonderMind has one out of five stars based on ten customer reviews. And a large majority of these written reviews contain complaints about customer service members being unwilling to assist clients with billing or potential problems that had arisen during their therapy sessions.

Who Is SonderMind For?

Even with some of the negative reviews, SonderMind has been effective for many individuals seeking an accessible means of mental health treatment. SonderMind’s crown jewel is that you have the option to attend sessions over the phone, online, or in-person. This makes it an effective service especially during the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic where you may need to be flexible with your sessions.

Also, the ability to use insurance or pay out of pocket may be appealing for people who are uninsured or lack mental health insurance on their current plan.

Finally, SonderMind may be a good choice if you’re hoping to get psychiatric treatment. Many mental health clinics that you can find online only offer behavioral therapy, so if you’re looking to get medication for your condition, SonderMind might be an effective solution.

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SonderMind: In Review

SonderMind is a virtual mental health clinic that offers in-person, virtual, or over-the-phone therapy and psychiatric services to people with or without insurance. They’ll match you with a licensed therapist based on a short questionnaire so that you can get specialized treatment and care.

While SonderMind’s data has shown it is effective, and most people have had positive experiences with their therapists, some have noted problems with billing and a lack of compassion from the customer service team.

In short, SonderMind is a great solution for people seeking mental health treatment that do not have insurance or want flexibility in the format of their sessions. However, issues with billing and poor therapy matching software might cause more stress than the service is actually worth.

References and Sources:

SonderMind Inc | Reviews | Better Business Bureau

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? | American Psychological Association

Mental Health Medications | NIM

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